SEVERAL banks and building societies are yet to sign up to a new code designed to protect people from payment scams, Which? has revealed.

Research from the consumer group found, as of the start of July, 12 out of 27 UK banks and building societies had not yet signed up to new voluntary standards.

The code, which came into force in May, aims to make it easier for victims of authorised push payment (APP) fraud to get money back.

UK Finance said payment service providers representing more than 85% of authorised push payments have already signed up.

The Which? report says, as of July 1, nine providers – Bank of Ireland, Citibank, Clydesdale Bank, Monzo, Post Office Money, Tesco Bank, Co-op Bank, Virgin Money, and Yorkshire Bank – said they were working to become a signatory.

The consumer group found that Danske Bank, First Trust Bank and N26 were assessing what becoming a signatory involves. Monzo said it is still adhering to the spirit of the code while in the process of signing up.

Which? said with £434 being lost every minute to bank transfer fraud, banks must urgently sign up to the voluntary code. Jenny Ross, Which? money editor, said: “People’s lives are being derailed every day as life-changing sums of money are lost to bank transfer fraud, so it’s incredibly concerning to see so many banks not yet signed up to this vital code.”

APP fraud is when someone is tricked into transferring money directly to a fraudster, often because they think they are paying a legitimate firm.

Banks have not been obliged to give a refund in such situations as the fraud victim authorised the bank to make the payment.

But victims who are customers of banks signed up to the code will be reimbursed, provided they comply with code regulations.

Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, NatWest/RBS, Santander UK and Nationwide Building Society have signed up, while TSB has launched its own guarantee, which refunds fraud victims.

A UK Finance spokesman said: “The launch of the authorised push payment scams voluntary code in May marked a significant moment, bringing a new level of protection from these scams.

“The payment service providers which have already signed up represent over 85% of authorised push payments and the Lending Standards Board is actively working with a number of others in preparation for them to join.

“To help stay safe from fraud, customers should follow the advice of the Take Five To Stop Fraud campaign and question any uninvited approaches asking them to transfer money, or give away their personal details, in case it’s a scam.”